Same-sex marriage

Northern Ireland prepares to legalize same-sex marriage, abortion

Abortion-rights protestors.
Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Northern Ireland is set to legalize abortion and same-sex marriage at midnight on Tuesday, marking a massive shift for the last country in the U.K. where both are outlawed, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Northern Ireland has been home to some of the world's most restrictive abortion laws since the Victorian era, prohibiting the procedure in almost all instances, except when the mother's life was in danger. Women could be legally punished for receiving an abortion, or even seeking one.

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